A game of two halves

A game of two halves

By Jeff Willmore
20 September 2009
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Losing 33 - 12 to Oxford Harlequins may have sounded like a comprehensive beating but the game was pretty even on a scorching day.


Bicester 2nds squad dominated the second half of the game on Saturday and it was a shame that they could not contain a youthful and well drilled Oxford Harlequins 2nds team who scored three early converted tries in opening 15 mins. Man of the Match Ant Lewis was tireless and uncompromising, attacking everything that came his way. Bicester looked promising for much of the game and recovered from their early set back. Ian Jollif and Mark Mallins were particularly impressive ball carriers in the forwards. Cameron Brown proved to be a safe pair of hands at fullback and new Fiji signing Jim Carver caused Quins defence alot of concern. Making a welcome return was Fijian Raki at hooker and was joined by his brother Meli in the centre.

But it was ball handling on a scorching day - 24 degrees - that really let Bicester down. All too often promising breaks were not fully capitalised on as the ball found its way into open space or was knocked on at the crucial moment. Bicester's commitment, fire and team work could not be faulted however. Substitute flanker Adam Willmore proved too strong for Quins to score a well executed try on the hour. Martin Linstrom quickly followed suit with James Holten converting from the left corner with a great kick. Suddenly the game was on again but it was really too late and by now the intense heat and humidity meant both sides were exhausted by the close.

Bicester 2nds will soon be back to full strength as the holiday season comes to an end. Its only a matter of time before the committment that they clearly have on the pitch is reflected in better results as the basics like ball handling and good communication become second nature.

Ant Lewis as well winning man of match also won the sweepstake on how long would Joliff last at prop. He rightly called for the full 80 minutes (which was punctuated by a welcome 10 minutes in the sin bin for Jolly which gave him time to recover). An investigation is on hand for the doubter in the squad who put his bet on Jolly not lasting the warm up.

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